For 69 years, the staff at Richy Kreme Do-Nuts has been rolling out donuts and selling them with a smile.

All of those dozens of donuts have been made by hand.

“They’re handmade every day and there’s just no other one like them,” said manager Linda Barner. “I think the love we put into them really makes the difference.”

The store, located at 2601 E. Broadway Ave., is celebrating its birthday with a “buy a dozen, get a dozen promotion” today. Anyone who buys a dozen of anything will receive a dozen donut holes for free.

Barner said the actual birthday is Sunday, July 17, but they are celebrating early. Richy Kreme is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Barner, who has worked at Richy Kreme for seven years, said she thinks the store’s atmosphere keeps the customers coming back, in addition to the donuts.

“They’re always going to get a smile,” she said.

The popular donut shop has customers who have been coming in since it opened 69 years ago, she said. The staff know many of the customers by name, and if not, they probably know their usual donut order.

Barner recalls how a customer once asked if she knew the woman’s father. Barner didn’t recognize the man’s name, but as soon as the woman showed her a picture of him, Barner knew what kind of donut he usually bought.

Richy Kreme’s most popular donut is the regular glazed. Other fan favorites include the chocolate glazed, apple fritters and the apple uglies, which have apple pieces mixed into the batter. The blueberry cake donuts are also popular, but they’re only available on Mondays and Fridays.

Some of the unique donuts Richy Kreme makes are the peanut butter and salted caramel.

“Even our glazed are really unique because they don’t taste like anybody else’s. They’re handmade,” Barner said.

In order to make dozens of donuts fresh every day, three cooks start working at midnight. They cook donuts until they get done.

“They got done early today. They got to go home about 6 a.m.,” Barner said Wednesday.

Barner comes in at 3 a.m. and started filling donuts and filling up the display case at the front of the store. Employee Stacia Greene comes in later in the morning and sells donuts throughout the day.

“Until the donuts are gone or 6 p.m. Whichever comes first,” Barner said.

Richy Kreme was founded in 1947 by Marion Richardson. The business has only had a handful of different owners in its 69-year history, and is now owned by Robin Mizell and his wife Charlotte Glass, who also operates Charlotte Glass Bookkeeping next door. They bought the business in 2001.

“It’s just an excellent job,” Barner said. “We have the best customers.”

The customers always walk in the door with a smile and receive one in return.

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